Marketing leaders face new challenges around acquisition, retention, and loyalty due to evolving customer behaviors and accelerating digital change due to the epidemic.

Shockoe recently joined a group of 70+ senior executives at a summit where these issues were laid bare, and the insights and implications of what companies across the globe are experiencing showed a number of themes that must be immediately addressed.

From Sustainability to Scalability 

Business across the globe was entrenched in 2020. Companies were in reactive mode trying to understand how the pandemic would impact their revenue. But over the past few months there has been a collective emergence from the trench. It is no longer a matter of how a company can sustain itself but rather how it can scale to meet the “new normal”. 

We heard from a number of executives at F500 companies who spent much of 2020 shoring up their marketing automation capabilities, integrating marcomm stacks into their work, and adjusting to omnichannel shopping behaviors. Their decisions to double down on infrastructure will likely pay off as they do not anticipate a return to the past; rather, they are seeing old models in new ways. 

For instance, several major retailers are starting to see their brick-and-mortar storefronts not as discrete sales channels but as a fragmented system of distribution nodes for packaging products for shipping and/or in-store pickup. This infrastructure reorganization has major implications on objectives and accountability/KPIs. Do we count foot traffic discretely from online sales when they are now intertwined? Do we need new attribution models to value each customer touchpoint and interaction? 

Shockoe is seeing these infrastructure changes among all our clients. Mobility – specifically the mobility of employees and customers – is at the center of these changes. 



The New Money is Meaning


Whereas missions are given, causes are taken. This may seem like an old hat for brands who are already cause-based – from Toms to Tesla – but it seems more relevant for every industry given today’s climate. Importantly, cause-based branding has often been expressed solely through cause-based marketing. And while this tactic will always be relevant in advertising and communications, taking actions from a central cause is taking on new meaning within product and service design. 

Apps designed for utility – completing tasks, obtaining information, placing orders, etc. –  are increasingly commonplace. The companies that will succeed among consumers looking to align themselves with causes will want to see this cause manifest in every interaction they have with brands. 

Take, for instance, Wyndham Resorts. They have recognized that the simple utility that comes with an app/eComm engine for obtaining timeshares is not sufficient in a content-heavy world. They have begun to activate their mission, to make hotel travel possible for all people, by expanding not just their product but also their content offerings. Wyndham recently acquired Travel & Leisure to help fuel their content needs, and in turn this merger will generate additional ways for potential travelers to dream, plan and purchase travel on their terms.